by Timothy Rutt
The old Soviet Union was a closed society that repressed and concealed information. During the Cold War, "Kremlinologists" were adepts who could analyze photos of Communist Party leaders at parades, or analyze the placement of stories in Pravda, and divine what was really going on behind the scenes in the regime -- who was in, who was out, what were they trying to say or not trying to say.
Tuesday night, Gene Detchemendy of the Charles Company showed some elevations (an architect's word for drawings of a building's façade) of the structure planned for the vacant site at Lake Avenue and Calaveras Street. The Charles Company -- and the site itself -- are owned by Mark and Arman Gabay, Beverly Hills developers who also own the site on Lincoln Avenue where the Walmart Neighborhood Market is located. When cleanup and construction began at that site, the Gabays and their entities refused to confirm rumors that Walmart was involved -- rumors that Altadenablog confirmed on June 20, 2012.
The Gabays and Walmart are likewise playing coy with the Calaveras Crater site. Detchemendy pointedly did not say who, if anybody, would be in the building. Walmart's position was "we're always evaluating new opportunities to be closer to our customers and be part of the solution for affordable groceries" in response to a direct question about the site -- in other words, not much of an answer at all.
It sounds to us like the real story isn't what's being told -- just like in the old Soviet Union.
So we decided a little Kremlinology was in order. We took pictures of the elevations and the site plan that the Charles Company presented Tuesday night, which appear after the jump. We know among our readers there are those with professional expertise in commercial archtiecture, construction, and engineering, and we're throwing comments open to them (or anyone else with a good idea). What do these pictures say to you? What kind of business could go into such a building? Let us know ....